Archive for November, 2010

Back by popular demand, the Holiday Entertaining Demo at The Fresh Market. A Chef of Your Own will again this year be doing a Holiday Entertaining Demo at The Fresh Market, in Dr Phillips on Sunday December 5 and in Altamonte Springs on Sunday December 12, both demos will be from 1-4.  The blood orange is a variety of orange (Citrus sinensis) with crimson, blood-colored flesh. Fennel is an anise flavores vegetable that adds a great flavor to this colorful holiday inspired salsa.

Festive Fennel & Blood Orange Holiday Salsa



Serves 4 – 6

5 tbsp O Blood Orange Olive Oil, divided

3 tbsp O White Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced

2 tsp sugar

3 blood oranges

1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed, thinly sliced

2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds

2 tbsp fresh fennel fronds

. medium red onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pkg Kitchen Table Bakers Parmesan Crisps


Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil, vinegar, ginger, and sugar

in a medium bowl. Cut peel and white pith from oranges and discard.

Holding oranges over bowl to catch juices, cut between membranes

to release segments into the bowl. Add fennel, pomegranate seeds,

fennel fronds and onion; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper,

cover and chill. (Salsa can be made 3 hours ahead.) Serve with

Parmesan Crisps.


Try serving this salsa as a tasty topping for pan seared fish or as

an addition to a mixed green salad

wine alternative:

Pair with Cascal Fermented French Soda – Light Red


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A Chef of Your Own wishes Sabrina a very happy 5th birthday.

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Dinner and Dessert

I cooked in a Global Resort Home today, http://www.globalresorthomes.com/

Who’s cooking your Holiday meals. A Chef of Your Own can come in while you are out at the parks and you can come home to dinner.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Here is A Chef of Your Own recipe I have been cooking turkey off for years for my clients. It is a great way to use up those turkey leftovers.

Creole Cakes with Sweet and Spicy Remoulade Sauce – Cooking Light


1/3 cup plain fat free yogurt

2 Tbls minced green onions

2 Tbls light mayonnaise

1 Tbls Creole mustard

1 Tbls sweet pickle relish

Dash of garlic powder and ground red pepper


2 slices white bread

3 cups chopped cooked turkey

1/3 cup minced green onions

¼ cup light mayonnaise

1 Tbls Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Cajun seasoning

2 large egg whites

1 tsp vegetable oil

To prepare sauce, combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Chill.

To make cakes, place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1 ¼ cups. Set aside. Combine the turkey through egg whites. Stir in the breadcrumbs. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a ½ inch patty. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add patties, cook 5 minutes, turn and continue to cook an additional 5 minutes until golden brown. Serve with sauce.

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Here are a few last recipes from A Chef of Your Own for easy entertaining.

Vindaloo Curry Dip

2 Tbls Sukhi’s Vindaloo Curry Sauce

½ cup sour cream

½ cup Greek style yogurt

Flatbread, pita chips or vegetables for dipping

In a bowl, combine curry sauce, sour cream and yogurt.

Serve with flatbread, chips or vegetables. Amount of curry sauce and be increased or decreased to adjust the level of spiciness.

Walnut, Sage and Mushroom Crostini

2 Tbls olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 cups wild mushrooms, roughly chopped

2 Tbls fresh thyme, chopped

3 oz goat cheese, crumbles

1 jar Bella Cucina Walnut Sage Pesto

1 pkg fresh rounds or crackers

Heat skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and swirl to coat. Add shallots and sauté until soft. Add mushrooms and thyme and sauté 6-8 minutes until beginning to brown and fragrant. Add pesto and goat cheese and gently combine until cheese melts. Spoon on top of French rounds and serve warm.

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This week I will be at the West Oaks Branch of the library. The address is 1821 E Silver Star Road, Ocoee, FL 34761. The topic is turkey tips and holiday side dishes. Here is a new way to cook sweet potatoes, these have been enjoyed by A Chef of Your Own clients for many years. If you are going to be in the Orlando area and you are looking for someone else to cook your Thanksgiving dinner, I still have dates available next week, please give me a call.

Sweet Potato Casserole

serves about 8-10

6-8 sweet potatoes

1/4 maple syrup

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp salt


1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cups flour

1/2 cup nuts, optional

Peel and boil sweet potatoes until tender. Place in mixing bowl with syrup and butter, whip until smooth and fluffy. Pour into 9×13 baking dish.

Topping – combine sugar and butter in large bowl and mix until lightened in color. Add in flour until mixture resembles corse meal with crumbs the size of peas. Spread evenly over sweet potatoes and bake in preheated 350 degree oven until bubbly and browned, about 35-45 minutes.

Here is another recipe from the Holiday Entertaining series

Praline Mustard Cheddar Cheese Ball with Bacon

6 slices Apple wood Smoked Bacon, Chopped

1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

8 oz cream cheese

1 jar Dr. Pete’s Praline Mustard Glaze

Crackers for dipping

Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. In a mixing bowl, combine bacon with cheddar cheese, cream cheese and ¼ cup Praline mustard glaze. Form mixture into a ball and set on serving platter. Pour remaining glaze over the top. Serve with Crackers. May be made a day ahead, remove from refrigerator about an hour before service to soften slightly.  Do not top with additional glaze until ready to serve.

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Two for one

Today’s recipes are from my Library Seminar this week,  Easy holiday entertaining. I will be at the Hiawassee Branch this Thursday, November the 11, starting at 6pm. Please stop by if you get the chance.

Lemon Olive Cheese Toasts

1 jar Bella Famiglia Kalamata Olive Tapenade

1 lemon, zest and juice

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

6 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled

1 pkg Musette Toasts

Combine tapenade, lemon juice, garlic, and feta in a bowl and stir. Top individual toasts with spoonful and serve. May make one day ahead. To make this a hot hors d’oeuvre, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place topped toasts on a baking sheet and bake 7-10 minutes.

Pecan, Brie and Onion Jam Toasts

1 pkg Musette Toasts

1 pkg Brie Cheese, rind removed

1 cup pecan pieces

½ cup Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic and onion jam

Place small amount of Brie on each toast. Place pecan pieces on top of Brie, and top with a dollop of Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam. To make this a warm hors d’oeuvre, melt Brie in microwave until just melted, about 1-2 minutes and follow above directions.

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Auction tonight

I have to take a moment away from cooking. Tonight is the auction I have planned over the last year. Central Florida Offshore Anglers annual auction is tonight. If you are in the Orlando area we are planning a great event. There is everything from fishing poles, of course, to art, to restaurant gift certificates. A list of all items can be found at www.centralfloridaoffshoreanglers.com. The auction starts at 6:30 at the Crown Plaza at Colonial and I-4. We are having a silent auction, chinese auction, raffle and a small live auction with some great fishing trips. It is a great chance to get an early start on your Holiday shopping. I hope to see you there.

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Roasted Citrus Olives

This recipe from Inspired chef is an easy, tasty addition to your entertaining menus.

Roasted Citrus Olives

1 lb large cured olives

3 garlic cloves, through a press

Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

4 sprigs fresh oregano

4 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup white wine

Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish. Stir.

Cover and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the olives plump up. Serve warm directly from the baking dish, garnished with fresh oregano sprigs and lemon slices, with thick slices of crusty bread.

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This recipe is from Wednesday’s seminar at the Library. These cocktail nuts are just the right combination of sweet and spicy. You can leave the chili powder out for cinnamon nuts or add more if you like them a little spicier. I have these out for company when they arrive or include them in Holiday Gift Baskets stored in decorative tins.

This description of candy making comes from http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html

Firm-Ball Stage
245° F–250° F
sugar concentration: 87%

Drop a little of this syrup in cold water and it will form a firm ball, one that won’t flatten when you take it out of the water, but remains malleable and will flatten when squeezed.

Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts

¼ cup water

1 Tbls butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp chipotle chili powder or Habanero chili powder

1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cups salted mixed nuts

Combine water, butter, and sugar in saucepan. Bring to a boil, wash down the sides of pan and place candy thermometer. Let simmer until firm ball stage, 248 degrees. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, cinnamon, chili powder and nuts. Stir until nuts are well coated and sugar starts to get granular.

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